William Byron’s playoff came to an early end on Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway after contact damaged the nose of his No. 24 Chevy Ride.
Contact close to the end of Stage 2 with the No. 95 Ride of Christopher Bell ended his night and playoff hopes as both cars tangled trying to avoid the slow No. 51 Ford of Joey Gase.
“I don’t know why he just stopped on the front straightaway,” Byron said over his team radio. “… What an idiot.”
Byron completed just 232 of the 500 laps at bristol. Crew chief Chad Knaus comforted the 22-y-o driver after he took the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet behind the wall.
“I think the No. 51 car (Gase) checked up in the middle of the straightaway. As fast as we were running the top, I was right behind the No. 95 (Bell) and I had literally nowhere to go,” Byron told NBC Sports.
“You can’t stop in the middle of the straightaway when everybody is so committed to the top like that. Just ridiculous that that’s what takes us out. I thought honestly we had a shot to run top five or seven. The car was really, really good. We just needed a couple good pit stops. We were running probably ninth or 10th there. Just super disappointing – I’ve got to go back and watch that because that was kind of ridiculous.”
"What an idiot."
— #NASCARPlayoffs on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) September 20, 2020